2004-05-21 / Front Page

With Summer On Way, Ticket Blitz Begins Anew

By Howard Schwach

With Summer On Way, Ticket Blitz Begins Anew

By Howard Schwach

Despite promises from police officials and City Councilman Joseph Addabbo that this summer would be different from the last two summers in terms of beach and boardwalk rules enforcement, four young firefighters were given 12 criminal court tickets on May 11 for such offenses as "Failing to comply with signs," "Open fire without a permit," and "Consumption of Alcoholic Beverage."

According to Councilman Addabbo, the tickets for such things as drinking on the beach and fishing are a violation of an agreement he reached with both the 100 Precinct commanding officer and with the new commanding officer of the Queens South command.

According to one of the firefighters, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution, however, he and three of his buddies decided to spend the day on the beach, fishing and relaxing.

They caught some blues and bass that they threw back because of their size and admittedly drew from a cooler of beer they had brought along.

As the sun went down, the four lit a "small fire," on the beach in the middle of the circle of chairs they had set up on Beach 129 Street.

The firefighter said they were still sitting there, enjoying the solace, when a man in civilian clothing came up the beach and asked them for identification.

When the four told them that they were at the beach and had no identification, the man, who turned out to be Sergeant Marcadia of the 100 Precinct, reportedly told them "If you have no ID, you go to central booking."

One of the firefighters, who lived nearby, volunteered to go home and get his identification. While he was gone, the sergeant called for a patrol car with two cops and ordered them to give the four "three tickets each."

"Here we are, four local residents who live just a few houses from the beach, practically in our own backyard, and we are clearing our calendars not for another day at the beach, but for a court date," the firefighter said.

"All we wanted to do," he added, "was to enjoy the nice weather on our public beach and perhaps catch a few fish."

Addabbo told The Wave that he would check into the incident, but that "there are safety issues involved."

"The ban on open flames is something we have to enforce," Addabbo said. "We can't allow bonfires and the like on the beach without some sort of control, some sort of permit."

The other tickets, however, are another story.

"I have no problem with a couple of beers on the beach," Addabbo said, adding that he would not be able to change the law against the drinking, but would work to change the enforcement of the law to make it more reasonable.

"I spoke with Captain Piekarski and Chief Dale, and they said that enforcement would not be like it was in the past two years," Addabbo said. "I'm going to have to review the tickets and sit down with the police and see what happened."

"We are going to monitor this very closely," the councilman added. "I don't expect that this summer is going to be a problem for beach-goers."

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